A Riveting Journey into the Paranormal — “Guilty Pleasures” by Laurell K. Hamilton

Published 27 Sep 2023
by Anca Antoci

Title: Guilty Pleasures
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Released: 03.08.2003
Buy from Amazon
4.02 (read)
Our review:
5.00 (read)

For over two years, ‘Guilty Pleasures’ by Laurell K. Hamilton had been lingering on my TBR list, untouched and overshadowed by its peculiar cover and its title. I can’t help but confess that my initial judgments were way off the mark. Despite the hype and the rave reviews it got, I expected it to be a cheesy vampire romance. And while I have nothing against cheesy romance, it’s not my cup of tea. I prefer my reads action-packed and fast-paced. Considering the title is "Guilty pleasures", I expected a smutty vampire romance. If that's your expectation too, you could not be more wrong. Guilty Pleasure is the name of a club where some of the action takes place.

‘Guilty Pleasures’ kicks off the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, plunging us into a paranormal mystery that defies conventions. The story unfolds in a dark and twisted alternate reality where vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures coexist with humans. What sets this novel apart is that it predates the urban fantasy genre’s rise, making it a classic in its own right.

Unlike many vampire stories veering towards the romantic, Anita Blake takes a refreshingly different approach. She doesn’t fall for every undead creature she encounters, adding depth to her character and the plot.

Anita, known as “The Executioner” among vampires, embodies strength and determination. Her unwavering resolve to uphold her beliefs and confront the supernatural world head-on is admirable. When her enigmatic friend Edward enters the scene, we’re presented with a compelling contrast. Edward’s willingness to go to extremes challenges Anita’s boundaries, promising future intrigue.

Jean Claude, a character that embodies the essence of a vampire, is both sexy and powerful. He fulfills our expectations of a vampire character, leaving us eagerly anticipating more of his presence in the series.

Anita Blake herself is a complex protagonist. She’s strong-willed, fiercely independent, and unapologetically opinionated, with a tongue as sharp as a dagger. As a raiser of the undead and a vampire slayer, her dual roles create a fascinating dynamic in a world where vampires coexist, and her journey is far from ordinary.

The novel beautifully juxtaposes the normalcy of the world with the supernatural. Hamilton explores the intricacies of a society where creatures of the night are real, some possess civil rights, and they attempt to coexist with humans. Anita’s role as a gun-toting necromancer who raises the dead adds a unique twist to her character.

Once I delved into ‘Guilty Pleasures,’ I found myself ensnared by its action-packed narrative. I eagerly await the next installment, keen to further explore this captivating world of Laurell K. Hamilton’s creation. ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is a must-read for anyone seeking an enthralling escape into the supernatural.

I would compare it to The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris and The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

Our final verdict: